Economics serving society

Daniel Cohen, president of the Paris School of Economics, passed away

Daniel Cohen, president of the Paris School of Economics, passed away on Sunday August 20, 2023.

After founding the Paris School of Economics in 2006 with Thomas Piketty, he was its president since 2021. The entire Paris School of Economics community is deeply saddened by his passing. We wish to express our gratitude to Daniel Cohen for his vision, his brilliance and his audacity.

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Daniel Cohen had no equal. He was a great scientist, a seminal teacher, a popularizer and transmitter of intelligence, and a leading intellectual who enlightened and stimulated social debate.

An internationally recognized specialist in public debt and inflation, he published numerous scientific articles that set the standard in these fields. His erudite and impassioned lectures at the École normale supérieure and the Paris School of Economics have inspired many vocations and created a true filiation around economics that is profoundly human and open to other disciplines. Above all, he was proud to see those who had been his students carry his vision of economics high around the world. He also worked hard to retain scientific talent in France, or to attract it back.

But Daniel Cohen’s aura extended far beyond the academic sphere. His books for the general public reached a truly wide audience, thanks to a rare quality of exposition and dazzling erudition. His exceptional teaching skills enabled many French people to better understand the major transformations shaping their lives. He was a formidable storyteller at the service of knowledge and its dissemination.

Daniel Cohen was deeply convinced that research could and should support government economic policy, and thus serve society. He achieved this through his personal commitment, but also by directing Cepremap and presiding over the Paris School of Economics. He did so pragmatically, with a concern to put his ideas to the test of facts, and with unrivalled conviction.

Daniel Cohen occupied a special place in the community of economists and intellectuals in general. More than any other, he put his intelligence and high profile at the service of collective projects in which he ensured the emergence of new ideas - even when they were far removed from his own, and supported new talents who then took on their own autonomy.

Daniel Cohen embodied intelligence, not a particular doctrine that would have been too narrow for the richness and abundance of his own thought. That’s why we loved and respected him. That’s why so many researchers today feel so strongly that they owe Daniel Cohen a debt of gratitude. An inquisitive and luminous mind, a unique and exemplary intellectual, a warm and caring man, he will be deeply missed.

The Paris School of Economics community